I sit on the porch
on the 21st day of November,
enfolded in warm, soft air.
I have morning coffee,
on the porch.
Two days ago,
I shared lunch with friends,
on the porch.
It feels
and sounds
like spring.
Yesterday,
there was morning fog.
Plants that struggled
through summer,
now are taking off—
lavender,
transplanted Vinca,
and today,
I notice brand new Hollyhock leaves.
There is as much birdsong
as in the spring.
Many of the singers
are wintering birds,
including some birds that don’t normally winter
here:
Robins,
Bluebirds.
Winter’s familiar company:
Goldfinches, Woodpeckers,
House Wrens, the blackbird cousins,
Mockingbird, Bluejay, Sparrows, Juncos.
A flock of Cedar Waxwings
has been here all week.


Bluebirds

Robin

Cedar Waxwings and Robin

My soul luxuriates
in the softness
of sweet bird music,
furry, winter-coated cats;
my heart aches
at the beauty on the gentle air.
But my spirit
is anxious:
though winter’s trees
drop the last dried leaves,
offer their berries,
and stand strong,
ready for the harshness
of a prairie winter,
spring’s birds
are here,
in a very dry November,
more or less ignoring the birdseed,
drinking long
and often
at the watering bowls.
Deep in the dried grass,
little plants
are greening.
I honor
the anxiety provoked
by the incongruities.
Weary of the dryness,
still, I pay attention
to the gray and beige landscape
that tells me
not to forget.
It is not spring.
And it is not normal
to have weeks
of porch-sitting weather
in November.
Or Robins.